December 23 2010

Blood drive results for December

December 23, 2010 // 0 Comments

At the December blood drive held in Rockford by Michigan Blood, Melissa Meitz, donor relations specialist reported that 48 people signed in and 38 units of blood were donated, the equivalent of 114 lives saved. Of those, one was a first-time donor. Donors who reached new gallon levels were Richard Schmich, with a total of one gallon of blood donated, and Philip Schultz, reaching an amazing 14 gallons of blood donated. This amount of blood allows 336 lives to be saved. The next drive is scheduled for: Monday, Jan. 3, 2011, at the Rockford Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe Street. There will be free t-shirts for everyone who registers to donate at this blood drive. Michigan Blood is located at 1036 Fuller NE in Grand Rapids, but holds blood drives in Rockford and other communities to make it easier for residents to donate and save lives.

Featured Squire employees, Cliff and Nancy Hill

December 23, 2010 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL  Following the background stories of The Rockford Squire’s Publisher Roger Allen and Managing Editor Beth Altena, we, Cliff and Nancy Hill, have been asked to reintroduce ourselves to the paper’s readership. We welcome the opportunity and, at the same time, will lay to rest a question that is frequently asked us, “Which of you two write your stories?” First, a little background of who we are and how we came to be contributing reporters for The Rockford Squire: Nancy is a farm girl born and raised just outside of Howard City, Mich. Academically, she acquired bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education from Western Michigan University and, at the time of her retirement as a teacher from the Tri-County School System, she was just a few short hours away from a Ph.D. She devoted 32 years to enriching the lives of elementary students in grades kindergarten through third. Cliff, on the other hand, is a big city boy born and raised in Chicagoland. In pursuit of a business degree at the University of Illinois, he freely admits he left school after two years because he was anxious to get on with his life. What followed were vocational careers in retail supermarket management and the trucking industry, leading to retirement. Somewhat bored in retirement, Cliff went on to spend two five-year stints as a fisheries technician with the Wisconsin DNR and finally as a lab technician with Wolverine World Wide. Obviously we possess dissimilar personalities, perspectives, values and beliefs due to the differences in our educational and vocational backgrounds in addition to the very different worlds we were born and raised in. If you already personally know us, then you know that Cliff does not “suffer fools gladly” and loves a good fight, while Nancy, on the other hand, is perfectly willing to “turn the other cheek” and seek an amicable compromise. (Cliff thinks Nancy is probably right.) One strong commonality is that we are both avid readers of books, magazines and especially newspapers. Enough said about backgrounds. When you meld all of the above and more, the result is the “by Cliff and Nancy Hill” byline. The answer to the question “Who writes the stories?” is: “We—Cliff and Nancy—together write […]

Rockford wrestlers defeat Grand Haven

December 23, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rams face tough competition at Holland Tournament  by TIM COOPER Wednesday, Dec. 15, the Rams traveled to Grand Haven to take on the Buccaneers in wrestling action. With the dual starting at 189 pounds, Rockford’s Zach Banaszak stepped on the mat, facing Quintin VanDorn of Grand Haven. Banaszak walked off the mat with a fall 3:27 later, giving the Rams an early 6-0 lead. Grand Haven tied the meet at 6 points each when Jerry Westerman pinned Banaszak’s twin brother Jake in the third period. The Rams began to take over the dual meet at the 285-pound weight class, when junior Jake Wilson used 1:19 to defeat Garret Kell. Steven Jendritz kept the momentum going by making short work of the Buccaneers’ Terry Franklin at 103, gaining a pin in only 20 seconds. At 112 pounds, with Rockford leading 18-6, Nate Rojas built a 16-1 lead on Grand Haven’s Levi Gregory. The 15-point margin gave Rojas a technical fall and put five more points on the Rams’ total. Following Rojas’ match, freshman Terry Gant of Rockford received his first high school win with a 12-6 decision over Eric VanHorssen in the 119-pound match. Junior Tyler VanRooyen bumped up to 125 pounds for the dual. With 16 seconds remaining in the second period, he pinned Josh Jucartz’s shoulders to the mat for the fall, giving the Rams a 32-6 lead halfway through the dual meet. The Rams received decisions in five of the remaining seven matches, building a 47-6 lead before losing the final two matches of the dual to make the score 47-15. “We received a great effort from our young kids tonight,” said Coach Brian Richardson. “The underclassmen really stepped up and responded.” On Saturday, Dec. 18, the Ram wrestlers again traveled to the Lakeshore for the 40th annual Tim Horn Memorial Windmill City Classic Wrestling Tournament at Holland High School. Each year the tournament features many of the top ranked wrestling teams in the state. This year, the defending Division II champion St. Johns Redwings and defending Division IV champion Hudson Tigers were among the teams at the prestigious invitational. The Rams advanced to the semifinal round by defeating Grand Rapids Catholic Central 60-12, Holland 38-31, and Marshall 78-0. Rockford fell in the […]

WORDS ON WEATHER & CLIMATE — December 23, 2010

December 23, 2010 // 0 Comments

Cold More Deadly  by CRAIG JAMES Many people who have looked at the global warming issue, myself included, believe we have much more to fear from a cooling world than a warming one. Data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics for 2001-2007 shows that 800 more people die every day in the United States in December, January and February than occur on an average day during the rest of the year. The winter months kill 72,000 more U.S. citizens than the spring-summer-autumn average. The data shows that heart attacks and strokes are the major culprits of cold weather deaths. It states, “As temperatures cool, blood vessels contract to preserve heat and blood composition changes. Cold weather makes the human respiratory system more susceptible to viruses. Compounding matters, influenza becomes more resistant to the human immune system when temperatures fall.”             Another recently published article in the Southern Medical Journal also concluded, “Cold-related deaths are far more numerous than heat-related deaths in the United States, Europe, and almost all countries outside the tropics, and almost all of them are due to common illnesses that are increased by cold.” In addition, “Even in climates as warm as southern Europe or North Carolina, cold weather causes more deaths than hot weather.” The Journal also notes that “rising temperatures could reduce overall mortality rates.”             Here’s more evidence that warm is better. Two health agencies in the U.K. recently released a report stating, “Mean annual heat-related mortality did not rise as summers warmed from 1971 to 2003.”             Indeed, the authors note: “Heat-related mortalities are substantial throughout Europe, but the hot summers in southern Europe cause little more mortality than the milder summers of more northerly regions.”             In October 2009, the Canadian Medical Association Journal reported, “We found that the lowest monthly mortality rates in selected European Mediterranean countries over the last few decades occurred in September. In Sweden and North American countries, the lowest mortality occurred in August, while it occurred in July in Japan. In Australia and New Zealand, the lowest monthly mortality was in March and February, respectively, which correspond to September and August, respectively, in the northern hemisphere.”             The authors speculate that temperature plays a major role when it comes to […]

Rockford’s best-kept winter secret revealed

December 23, 2010 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Answering an often-asked community request for an outdoors winter ice-skating rink, the Rockford Lions have again stepped to the plate. Squire readers will recall that in past years the City of Rockford flooded an area behind the Community Cabin, providing a place for children of all ages to ice-skate during the winter months. That practice was abandoned several years ago, because it became prohibitively expensive to maintain and, oftentimes yearly, replace the rink’s liner. The liner that was placed on the ground and banked by snow was necessary to prevent water absorption into the ground while flooding. Old timers in the community fondly remember days of yore when the frozen Rum Creek Mill Pond served as the neighborhood skating rink. Every winter it became a popular recreational gathering spot for hundreds of Rockford families. In ensuing years, the banks of the pond became inaccessible, being ringed by overgrown underbrush and fallen and dead trees. Also, in certain years of drought, the pond did not contain enough water to support a decent skating surface. Eventually the pond was abandoned as a skating rink and relegated to the history of the “good ol’ days.”             Enter the Rockford Lions, who embrace the club’s common dedication to unselfish service without regard to recognition.             Rockford Lion Bob Winegar well remembers the good times that were had on the Mill Pond skating pond and posed the question to the club, “Why can’t we recreate the skating rink on a bigger and grander scale than ever before?” Indeed, they have done just that.             In the fall of 2009, Winegar and his good friend Bernie Armstrong, in particular, along with other Lions, spent countless hours clearing the banks and removing the fallen trees, resulting in a skating surface of approximately one acre. It was available for limited use after Christmas of last year and is somewhat the best-kept secret in town.             This winter season, it gets even better. The City of Rockford Public Service Department has provided the use of a gasoline-powered pump to draw water from the adjacent Rum Creek to resurface the pond as needed, resulting in a skating surface, as Winegar says, “As smooth as a baby’s behind.” When your reporters […]

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